Institute of Education


National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination PG Cert

The programme aims to develop participants' professional knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts and debates addressed in the academic and professional literature, in order to lead and co-ordinate special educational needs and disability (SEN and D) provision across an educational setting. For SENCos new to the role it is mandatory to achieve the award within three years of appointment.

Key information

Programme starts

January 2019, September 2019, January 2020

Modes and duration

Flexible: up to 2 years

Five days' attendance per module. Each module is taught over one term. Usually completed within one academic year with option to complete within maximum two years as programme is Flexible/Modular.

Application dates

January 2019 entry
Open: 6 February 2018
Close: 6 November 2018
September 2019 entry
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 2 September 2019
January 2020 entry
Open: 4 February 2019
Close: 8 November 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £2,605 (FT)
Overseas: £5,665 (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Postgraduate Certificate fee taken in an academic session. Please note: students starting study in January 2020 will pay fees at the 2019/20 rate.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to have QTS (qualified teacher status) or equivalent. A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is also required. Those who hold a degree below the minimum standard have to show an ability to meet the demands of the programme through an extended personal statement.

Applicants need to be a SENCO or aspiring SENCO and have completed a Headteacher approval form (signed by Headteacher or Line manager) indicating support for you to meet all the learning outcomes of the National Award for SENCOs.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is not suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

By the end of the programme students should be able to:

  • contribute to contemporary debate in the fields of special education, inclusion and disability studies
  • produce and communicate reasoned and informed reflective argument, both in writing and orally
  • carry out a focused practitioner inquiry relating to the role of the SENCo, supported by relevant literature sources
  • improve professional practice through greater knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits each). Five days' attendance per module, 9.30-4.30 - usually on alternate weeks over two terms.

Compulsory modules

Special Educational Needs Coordination: Improving Teaching and Learning
Special Educational Needs Coordination: Leading and Managing Change

Optional modules

There are no optional modules on this programme.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Each module is delivered over five days. A Learning Log needs to be completed as the practical component.  Assessment is through a practitioner enquiry assignment for both modules consisting of 4,500 words each. The focus is on the practitioner as researcher within the participant's own education institution.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline is 5 April 2019
Accommodation plus tuition fees (1 year)

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Upon successful completion of this programme, students who apply to the MA Special and Inclusive Education (MaSIE) can request to have the 60 SENCo credits as Approved Prior Learning (APL) towards the Masters.


This programme will prepare participants for progression to employment as SEN co-ordinators or for senior leadership roles within schools in a variety of settings.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is run by the Department of Psychology & Human Development - Centre for Inclusive Education. It is delivered by specialists who currently practise in the field along with researchers with international profiles in SEN, disabilities and inclusion.

Students will get the opportunity to meet regularly with colleagues working in different local authorities in London and further afield.

The Centre for Inclusive Education offers research-informed and practice-orientated courses and knowledge exchange activities and fosters strong links with local authorities, academy federation trusts and teaching school alliances.

Department: Psychology & Human Development

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at those who currently hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the UK, Qualified Teacher Learning Skills (QTLS), Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and who are currently working as, or aspiring to be, a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) with headteacher approval.

Application deadlines

January 2019 entry
6 November 2018
September 2019 entry
2 September 2019
January 2020 entry
8 November 2019

Applicants must upload their QTS certificate and Headteacher approval form (downloadable from www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/applying-graduate-study/programmes-special-arrangements/programmes-additional-requirements) (signed by Headteacher or Line Manager) indicating support for you to meet all the learning outcomes of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Special Educational Needs Co-ordination at graduate level
  • why you want to study Special Educational Needs Co-ordination at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 6 March 2019 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing